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CFR › Title 38 › Chapter I ›
Part 4 › Subpart A › Section 4.26
M21-1, Part IV, Subpart ii,
Chapter 2, Section F -
Compensation Based on
Individual Unemployability (IU)
M21-1, Part IV, Subpart ii,
Chapter 2, Section H -
Special Monthly Compensation (SMC)
M21-1, Part III, Subpart iv,
Chapter 8, Section D -
Reductions in Awards
M21-1, Part I, Chapter 5,
Section B - Notice of
Your VA Claim
If you haven't figured it out by now,
it's time to realize you're involved in a giant paper shuffle
and this IS NOT a spectator sport.
Put down your gun
and pick up your keyboard.
The battlefield has changed.
Disability Service Connection
Secondary Service Connection-Increased
Total Disability Rating -
Individual Unemployability -
Compensation under 38 U.S.C. 1151 -
Special Monthly Compensation -
Specially Adapted Housing/Special
Home Adaptation Automobile
Allowance/Adaptive Equipment -
Benefits Based on a Veteran's
Seriously Disabled Child
Notice of Disagreement
The first step to appeal
Application for DIC, Death Pension
We practice virtually all areas of law related
to VA benefits or military disability, and we
represent veterans at all levels of
the VA benefits adjudication process.
Clear and Unmistakable Error
Gulf War Syndrome / Medically Unexplained Illness
Leah Wingeart is a clinical psychologist
who served honorably in the U.S. Navy from
2008 to 2015. Her specialties are conducting Independent Medical Examinations and writing
Mental Disorder and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Disability Benefits Questionnaires
(DBQs) for veterans or service members.
Independent Medical Exams (IME)
Disability Benefits Questionnaires
Speak With A Veterans Law Attorney
Or An Expert Physician
Case Evaluations Are
At GloverLuck, helping veterans is our only business. We are veterans law, at your service.
Federal Tort Claims
Title 38 U.S.C. 1151
Were you improperly denied
entitlement to reimbursement of
medical expenses incurred for emergency medical services?
You need to speak with a
veterans law attorney today!
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Military Veterans News & Benefits Information
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Since 2005 This Is The Site VA Reads When They
Want To Learn What They've Been Doing
We believe that the more you know about the laws,
rules and regulations that govern the VA disability
compensation process, the more likely
it is that you will receive the correct award.
Here we'll review some of the more frequently cited parts of
Title 38 as well as other pertinent laws, rules and regulations.
§3.12 Character of discharge.
(a) If the former service member did not die in service, pension, compensation,
or dependency and indemnity compensation is not payable unless the period of
service on which the claim is based was terminated by discharge or release
under conditions other than dishonorable. (38 U.S.C. 101(2)). A discharge
under honorable conditions is binding on the Department of
Veterans Affairs as to character of discharge.
compensation rate for a surviving spouse.
(a) General determination of rate. When VA grants a surviving spouse
entitlement to DIC, VA will determine the rate of the benefit it will award.
The rate of the benefit will be the total of the basic monthly rate specified
in paragraph (b) or (d) of this section and any applicable
increases specified in paragraph (c) or (e) of this section.
§3.102 Reasonable doubt.
It is the defined and consistently applied policy of the Department of Veterans
Affairs to administer the law under a broad interpretation, consistent, however,
with the facts shown in every case. When, after careful consideration of all
procurable and assembled data, a reasonable doubt arises regarding
service origin, the degree of disability, or any other point, such doubt will
be resolved in favor of the claimant. By reasonable doubt is meant one
which exists because of an approximate balance of positive and negative
evidence which does not satisfactorily prove or disprove the claim. It is a
substantial doubt and one within the range of probability as distinguished
from pure speculation or remote possibility. It is not a means of reconciling
actual conflict or a contradiction in the evidence. Mere suspicion or doubt
as to the truth of any statements submitted, as distinguished from impeachment
or contradiction by evidence or known facts, is not justifiable basis for
denying the application of the reasonable doubt doctrine if the entire,
complete record otherwise warrants invoking this doctrine. The reasonable
doubt doctrine is also applicable even in the absence of official records,
particularly if the basic incident allegedly arose under combat, or
similarly strenuous conditions, and is consistent with
the probable results of such known hardships.
§3.155 How to file a claim.
The following paragraphs describe the manner and methods in which a claim
can be initiated and filed. The provisions of this section are applicable to
all claims governed by part 3.
(a) Request for an application for benefits. A claimant, his or her duly authorized
representative, a Member of Congress, or some person acting as next friend of a
claimant who is not of full age or capacity, who indicates a desire to file for
benefits under the laws administered by VA, by a communication or action, to
include an electronic mail that is transmitted through VA's electronic portal or
otherwise, that does not meet the standards of a complete claim is
considered a request for an application form for benefits under §3.150(a).
Upon receipt of such a communication or action, the Secretary shall notify
the claimant and the claimant's representative, if any, of the information
necessary to complete the application form or form prescribed by the Secretary.
§3.160 Status of claims.
(a) Complete claim. A submission of an application form prescribed by the
Secretary, whether paper or electronic, that meets the following requirements:
(1) A complete claim must provide the name of the claimant; the relationship to
the veteran, if applicable; and sufficient service information for
VA to verify the claimed service, if applicable.
(2) A complete claim must be signed by the claimant or a person
legally authorized to sign for the claimant.
(3) A complete claim must identify the benefit sought.
(4) A description of any symptom(s) or medical condition(s) on which
the benefit is based must be provided to the extent the form
prescribed by the Secretary so requires; and
(5) For nonservice-connected disability or death pension and arents' d
ependency and indemnity compensation claims, a statement of income
must be provided to the extent the form prescribed by the Secretary so requires.
(b) Original claim. The initial complete claim for one or more
benefits on an application form prescribed by the Secretary.
(c) Pending claim. A claim which has not been finally adjudicated.
(d) Finally adjudicated claim. A claim that is adjudicated by the
Department of Veterans Affairs as either allowed or disallowed is
considered finally adjudicated by whichever of the following occurs first:
Two veterans' advocacy groups are backing a push from House Republicans to
prohibit the Department of Veterans Affairs from buying luxury artwork, after
controversy erupted over reports that the VA has spent significant funds on decorations.
Police are warning about a new scam that’s surfaced in Killeen and Copperas
Cove that appears to target elderly residents who receive VA benefits.
America’s veterans are forced to drive hours to get to the nearest Veterans Affairs
clinic, wait months for doctors’ appointments, and are routinely being subject to
shameful service (unsanitary medical equipment, etc.). Few people have been
fired as a result of the scandal and VA Secretary Robert McDonald has even
minimized the situation by comparing it to the
challenges of standing in line at Disney World.
“Vet Air” provides free air transportation to doctor’s appointments for
veterans who have difficulty sitting for long periods of time.
The Indiana Marine veteran has registered a nonprofit with the state, Hoosier
Veterans for Medical Cannabis, and said he is committed to pushing Indiana
lawmakers to legalize medical marijuana. “There needs to be an alternative,”
Staker said. It’s in part his first-hand account of prescribing practices,
with doctors in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs,
Staker said that is promoting the new action.
There is a clean, safe, new place for veterans to live who were once homeless.
It is a 20-unit apartment complex located off Mill Street. The complex was once
considered dirty and dingy but has undergone a $1.5 million renovation. One of the
newest residents is Curtis Thomas. The Air Force veteran said, "I'm
thankful to God that he gave me another chance and had me move somewhere like this."
According to U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers (AL-03), the biggest hurdle for men and
women after serving in the military is finding the education benefits that are
available for veterans. But there are programs to help. In Spring 2016, Jacksonville
State University had about 430 students using some type of VA
educational benefit. Justin Parker, the university's director of veteran services,
also says there are still many veterans unaware of the assistance they can get.
The Department of Defense's Executive Resale Board voted unanimously this
month to recommend that military exchange services open online discount
shopping to 19 million honorably discharged veterans next year. Officials
hope this move increases exchange revenues to offset declines due to the
sharp drawdown in active duty forces, base closures, elimination of on-base
tobacco product discounts and reduced margins from selling cheaper gasoline on base.
Custom carvings by a veteran.
I do military themes, sports logos,
business logos, Bible boxes,
occasional canes and much more.
These make great gifts!
(I ordered the Big Red One you see above
as a gift. First class work and service!)
/s/ Jim Strickland
Houston Bar Association Helping Veterans
A major challenge many veterans face is access to legal assistance. Low
income vets in Greater Houston are getting help through the Veterans Legal Initiative.
Unlike previous reports from the department, this one combines information on
all recorded veteran suicides across the US. It shows that in 2014 veterans
accounted for 18 percent of all deaths by suicide among U.S. adults.
Nearly 70 percent of those deaths involved a firearm.
Many disabled or aging veterans voiced concerns at the meeting,
but one was repeated over and over: appointments with a
doctor at local Veterans Affairs clinics are crucial, but not easy to get.
This N.J. County Has Housed All Of Its Homeless Veterans
If a veteran becomes homeless, he’ll get temporary housing within
30 days and permanent housing within three months.
Vietnam Era military veterans will soon be honored as part of a
national commemoration that spans more than 12 years.
Wags4Patriots: Service dogs for service members
For some of our brave servicemen and women, the return home from
war is not the end of the battle. Every year thousands of our nation's
veterans are diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
from their tours of duty, and easing back into society is difficult or even terrifying
Apparently, Department of Veterans Affairs officials haven’t learned much from
the wait-time scandal that shook VA to its foundations and forced
the resignation of former Secretary Eric Shinseki.
The VA organ transplant system
Sick veterans are being forced to travel more than a thousand miles for
care. In many cases that distance proves to be a daunting barrier
between those who have served, and the organ transplants they need to survive.
There is perhaps no better example of waste in the scandalous Veterans
Administration than the millions spent on art instead of on care. You could
begin with the $670,000 spent on two sculptures at a California blind veterans
rehabilitation center that the blind veterans cannot even see. It may be ludicrous
to point out that, as far as the Obama administration and the VA is concerned,
it is the blind leading the blind. But that is the way it seems.
Roughly one in five Americans lives with a
disability. So where is our pride movement?
A disabled veteran has been having trouble seeing a doctor so he can have
surgery. He’s part of the VA’s Veterans Choice program,
which is supposed to speed up the process of getting to a doctor.
The next director of the VA Northern Indiana Health Care system was
suspended from his command at an Army hospital in 2013, but Michael
Hershman said Wednesday he was cleared of alleged misdeeds.
Taking a cue from the ABC show Shark Tank, the VA Innovation Demo
Day brought these employee-entrepreneurs before a panel of VA leaders,
including VA Undersecretary for Health Dr. David Shulkin, who said the
goal of the event was to highlight programs that
could work for the system at large.
A software upgrade gone wrong caused widespread system outages
across the Veterans Affairs Department, officials confirmed Tuesday.
The agency’s main website, VA.gov, as well as Vets.gov,
associated websites, and apps were temporarily affected,
a VA spokesperson told MeriTalk.
Several weeks ago, ABC News broke a story about VA’s extravagant
spending on artwork at VA facilities. The story was based on a report released
by the watchdog group Open the Books, which showed that between
2004 and 2014, VA spent about $20 million on
artwork for VA hospitals and other facilities.
The I-TEAM has learned the Milwaukee VA refused to admit a dying
veteran into their hospice care unit. Robert Laise had kidney
disease and died six days after the VA turned him away.
Radford is suing the VA system alleging, among other things, medical
negligence and malpractice. The VA had no comment, citing the
pending lawsuit and patient privacy.
Aided by new funds from Congress, the Department of Veterans Affairs
(VA) is extending new antiviral treatments to all veterans with hepatitis C
treated within its sprawling health care system—regardless of the stage
of their illness and whether they contracted these infections during military service.
Despite a determination that the errors were unintentional, U.S. Reps. Tom
Emmer and Tim Walz say they are disappointed in a finding by a Veterans
Affairs investigation that the St. Cloud VA provided inaccurate figures
that inflated its success in the number of patients it saw
and the number of doctors it had on staff.
The case of a service member diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder but
found instead to have brain damage caused by a malaria drug raises
questions about the origin of similar symptoms in other post-9/11 veterans.
More than 1,200 veterans receiving care at the Iowa City Veterans Affairs
Hospital were assigned to “ghost panels” — primary care doctors who was
not actively providing care — in early 2016, a new report by the watchdog
arm of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs found.
A Harker Heights resident is saying his primary care physician at the
Temple Veterans Affairs hospital is refusing to refill prescriptions
for pain medication he’s been taking for 40 years.
accused of sexually abusing patients
Mark Wisner has been charged with aggravated sexual battery,
hearing rescheduled for Sept. 15
An investigation by the VA into staffing issues at the St. Cloud Veterans
Medical Center finds managers were playing with the numbers.
vet's suicide will be reviewed
Vet's mom: Doctor says sergeant left appointment, didn't return call
As the countdown to the end of President Barack Obama’s time in office begins,
so does the effort to discern his legacy. On veterans care, that legacy will
not be something of which he or the nation should be proud.
The Veterans Affairs appeals process is broken. That comes directly from the
Department of Veterans Affairs’ report on Veteran Appeals Experience.
The numbers are staggering. As of January 2015,
approximately 440,000 veterans had appeals pending.
She found herself questioning why Kevin couldn't get proper
treatment for the mental illness that precipitated his death.
Tinnitus and Hearing Loss
Craig N. Bash M.D.
The VA has codes for both tinnitus and hearing loss and both can be rated simultaneously
without regard to the pyramids rule, which essentially states that each organ system only
is to be rated with one code (not an absolute rule as there are exceptions). In my
experience almost all veterans suffer form some level of tinnitus/hearing loss
due to the nature of military service. All veterans are exposed to excessive
noise even from common ubiquitous items such as diesel engines, jet blasts and
explosions. Thus does not even consider the need for weapons training. Historically
most veterans were not supplied with Mickey Mouse type acoustic muffs and/or
earplugs or these items were ill fitted or they item were not always available in
training or combat. As rudimentary test, when I talk with veterans over the phone and
I they can not hear me in normal conversation that is a good basic indication that they
have moderate to severe hearing loss. If I note this defect, I send patients out for
private hearing testing as in my experience the private testing is more accurate
than the internal VA testing maybe due to superior equipment or better more
soundproof laboratories. The private tests results are important as the VA codes
for hearing loss are based solely on data form the hearing lab which is entered
into an X and Y axis graph. Once the data is grafted the hearing loss rating
percentages are read off directly the graph. Tinnitus is a subjective noise ringing
in the ears and is often associated with hearing losses. Tinnitus can also be
associated with Meniere’s disease, which carries a higher percent rating.
Tinnitus is usually rated at 10%.
1. Any veteran who was in service should have formal (civilian) hearing tests.
2. Veterans should write lay letters about their experience with tinnitus as this
can be rated in addition to hearing loss.
3. Veterans should also write lay letters about any vertigo as this can be a
seriously disabling condition which may be related to acoustic trauma.
4. All patients should have a private medical nexus opinions and exams by a
physician experienced with acoustic trauma. Physicians should do DBQ
forms for all hearing loss cases prior to all VA decisions.
5. All patients should go to any BVA in-person hearings because the outcome of the
cases is more accurate. The decisions are more accurate because the BVA as the
judge is able to ask the patient real time detailed questions based on the
medical record and offer suggestions to the patient concerning any
information that is needed for a favorable decision in line with the duty to assist rules.
FYI *** VA has a new policy of “ No Form No Benefit” (NFNB) so please do all VA forms as
carefully as possible. The use of an accredited agent is prudent.
Craig N. Bash M.D. Associate Professor
firstname.lastname@example.org cell 240-506- 1556
Independent Veteran Medical Opinion (IMO)
Medical Nexus Opinion based on veterans medical records
Dr. Brett Valette provides Military Veterans with psychological
Independent Medical Evaluation, Independent Medical Opinions,
Nexus Letters and Ratings Reviews. For more information visit